Amanda Bynes made serious headlines this week when she appeared in a wide-ranging interview with Paper magazine, her first in years. The chat saw the 32-year-old officially reveal her comeback plans, with Bynes planning a return to the spotlight after years of strange behavior and an eventual under-the-radar return to school.
Bynes originally shot to fame with her turn on Nickelodeon's sketch comedy show All That before scoring her own series, The Amanda Show. She eventually moved to film, starring in a number of successful films before a drug habit combined with self-image issues led her to announce her abrupt retirement.
Read on to recap Bynes' career over the years.
Bynes was born in Thousand Oaks, California, and began performing at an early age, acting plays and scoring an agent at seven years old. She booked a number of commercials but scored her big break when she attended a comedy camp and was spotted by a Nickelodeon producer. The producer encouraged Bynes' parents to allow their daughter to audition for the network, and when she did, she was cast on the sketch comedy series All That.
After starring on All That for three years, Bynes was awarded her own spinoff series, The Amanda Show. Featuring iconic skits like The Girls' Room, Judge Trudy and Bynes' turn as obsessive fan Penelope Taynt, the show ran from 1999-2002 and proved that Bynes had the chops to maintain leading lady status.
When Bynes was 15, she made the transition into film, starring in Big Fat Liar opposite Frankie Muniz. She also moved into the world of scripted TV with a starring role on the WB's What I Like About You opposite Jennie Garth, with the pair playing sisters who live together in New York City.
In the following years, Bynes starred in a number of now-iconic teen films, including What a Girl Wants alongside Colin Firth and She's the Man alongside Channing Tatum. She also starred as Penny Pingleton in the 2007 remake of Hairspray and as the titular character in the Snow White-inspired Sydney White.
Bynes told Paper that it was around this time that she started using drugs, which led to her leaving the film Hall Pass. The actress said that "the mixture of being so high that I couldn't remember my lines and not liking my appearance" prompted her to pull out of the movie.
She did complete her role in 2010's Easy A, but revealed that seeing herself in the movie led to her decision to quit acting.
"I literally couldn't stand my appearance in that movie and I didn't like my performance. I was absolutely convinced I needed to stop acting after seeing it," she said. "I was high on marijuana when I saw that but for some reason it really started to affect me. I don't know if it was a drug-induced psychosis or what, but it affected my brain in a different way than it affects other people. It absolutely changed my perception of things."
After announcing her retirement on Twitter, Bynes continued to use the platform, sharing nonsensical and occasionally disturbing message including sexual requests sent to rapper Drake, discussions about her drug use and accusations of abuse against her father.
“I'm really ashamed and embarrassed with the things I said. I can't turn back time, but if I could, I would,” Bynes told Paper. “And I'm so sorry to whoever I hurt and whoever I lied about because it truly eats away at me. It makes me feel so horrible and sick to my stomach and sad."
"Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all through Twitter," she added.
In 2012, the actress was charged with a DUI when she got into a fender-bender with police, receiving a three-year probation two years later when the charge was dropped. That August, she hit another vehicle resulting in another hit and run charge and was later cited for driving on a suspended license.
In 2013, she was arrested in New York City after she allegedly tossed drug paraphernalia out her apartment window. Bynes was charged with reckless endangerment and attempting to tamper with physical evidence, but the case was later dismissed.
In July 2013, Bynes was involved in a residential disturbance in a California neighborhood after allegedly starting a small fire in a stranger's driveway in Thousand Oaks and was consequentially placed under an involuntary psychiatric hold for four months.
Seemingly wanting a fresh start, Bynes enrolled at Los Angeles’ Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in 2014, though she was arrested on another DUI charge that year. She also cleared out her Twitter account and went virtually silent on the platform.
Now nearly four years sober, Bynes shared that she is considering making a return to acting, explaining that she wants to re-enter the business "kind of the same way I did as a kid, which is with excitement and hope for the best." She doesn't want to limit herself to certain types of roles or productions, and judging by her extensive catalogue, it's fair to say that if Bynes wants to, she'll be able to make her way back in no time if she wants to.
Photo Credit: Getty / Jason Merritt